Monday, August 04, 2008

Chesterton's Present to his Translators

O.k. those of you who translate, did you know that Chesterton wrote a passage especially for us?

When the linguistic symbol for fines-that-are-too-big-to-be-fines tested the depth of the water uh the language piece for Chesterton's favorite pet, the Divine Son of Horus boldly quashed a living ham as a pecattic word-diversion and gambled it. So a nearly avant-garde spiritual substance who deals in Egyptian communication fashions strength symbolize 'at once' by drawing (in the fashion of the animals in the jungles of Upton Sinclair) a cushy helmet followed by a trilogy of the purest mathematical symbol. It was saintly enough for the Divine Son of Horus, and it ought to be saintly enough for his more senile age of Father Time counterpart. But the aforementioned grown-up-version of what kindergarteners do must have been marvelously stimulating to the chemichals in the brain that cause one to feel pleasure to enscript or decipher these envoyances, when immersing quills in jet-liquid to create meaningful chicken-scratch or immersing the ocular organs in the same fowl-marks to pick meaning off their bare brances were in reality a thing whose birthday had just come...the Divine Son of Horus surrounded by his priests as a speck of clover is surrounded by agrarian weeds and the whole lot lionizing with hilarious flutters of the diaphram and fertilely ejecting bubbles of ideas as the Son's puns matured into things more immature and more tragic to adhere to."

Oops...That was the translated version. Here's the real one, taken from "The Everlasting Man."

"When the word for taxes sounded rather like the word for pig, the pharoh boldly put down a pig as a bad pun and chanced it. So a modern hieroglyphist might represent 'at once' by unscrupulously drawing a hat followed by a series of upright numerals. It was good enough for the pharoh, and it ought to be good enough for him. But it must have been great fun to write or even to read these messages, when writing and reading were really a new thing...the king among his priests and all of them roaring with laighter and bubbling over with suggestions as the royal puns grew more wild and indefensible."

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